Sinus infections are very common ailments among people of all ages. They can be sudden and short-lived, as with the common cold, or chronic conditions that cause long-term discomfort. Congestion, coughing, and other symptoms that accompany an infection can often be relieved by getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and taking over-the-counter medications. An individual who experiences frequent or severe sinus problems, however, should visit a primary care doctor to learn about the best sinus infection remedy for his or her specific condition.
Many people find the best acute sinus infection remedy to be resting and waiting for the bacteria or virus to run its course. Drinking water and juice can help boost the immune system and loosen mucus buildup in the sinus cavities. Over-the counter cough suppressants, decongestants, and nasal sprays can further help to relieve symptoms, though they do not actually shorten healing time. Most acute infections resolve within about two weeks.
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Severe congestion can cause an individual to have facial pain, headaches, and nausea. Applying a warm, wet cloth or compress on the cheeks and nose may help ease pain. Breathing in steam from a shower or a bowl of hot water can also help relieve pressure and promote drainage. Some people find relief by using an over-the-counter nasal irrigation product, such as a neti pot, to flush the nasal cavities with a saline solution.
If an individual has chronic symptoms due to allergies, the best sinus infection remedy is usually avoiding allergic triggers. It may be difficult to stay away from outdoor allergens, but a person can limit exposure by staying inside on windy days and wearing a respirator when working outside. In addition, taking over-the-counter antihistamines can help alleviate allergy attacks and reduce sinus pressure.
A person who cannot seem to find a reliable sinus infection remedy should schedule an appointment with his or her physician. A doctor can evaluate symptoms and conduct a series of diagnostic tests to determine the nature of a person's infection. Depending on the underlying causes, a doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, decongestants, or high-strength nasal sprays. A person who has persistent nasal allergies may need to receive regular allergy shots to help reduce the severity and frequency of sinus problems. In rare circumstances, when no other sinus infection remedy is successful, an individual may need to undergo surgery to clear and restructure the sinus passages.